SC stays CBI probe against Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat
Attorney General KK Venugopal who appeared for the CM and said that the order has to be stayed as it was passed without hearing Rawat and there was no prayer for a CBI probe was before the Court in the petition being considered.Updated: Oct 29, 2020, 16:21 IST
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat two days after the high court had directed the agency to investigate an alleged bribery case involving Rawat before he became the CM.
Attorney General KK Venugopal who appeared for the CM and said that the order has to be stayed as it was passed without hearing Rawat and there was no prayer for a CBI probe was before the Court in the petition being considered. He said that the order had destabilized the government as Opposition were raising demands for the CM’s resignation.
The three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said, “Can such an order be passed in a petition where neither any specific prayer for probe is made nor the state or CM is made a party. All of a sudden everybody is taken by surprise.”
The top court stayed the operative portion of the October 27 high court order directing the CBI probe and asked the opposite parties to file response in four weeks.
The HC had suo moto directed the CBI to examine allegations leveled by a journalist Umesh Sharma accusing Rawat of indirectly receiving alleged bribe of Rs 25 lakh in 2016 when Rawat was the BJP’s in-charge of Jharkhand. The alleged bribe giver was a Ranchi-based man who deposited this money into accounts held by Rawat’s relatives on the promise of being made Chairman of Gau Seva Committee in Jharkhand.